You expect your customer-facing team to look the part, behave professionally and deliver exceptional customer service. You might provide them with a uniform and a company manual to help portray the right company image, but are they equipped to respond to compliments, questions, comments and complaints?
In order to provide good customer service, your team also need to have:
Detailed Knowledge of Products and Services
The majority of customers will have undertaken some research before they get in touch or visit your premises. They are informed, but they need some additional information before they can be convinced to buy, place an order or make an appointment. They expect your team to provide the answers, make recommendations and really know what they are talking about.
It is important to keep your team regularly updated with new product launches, seasonal updates, latest stock and new services. Don’t simply tell them, can they try things out and see for themselves? Do you allow them time to read reviews? Is there the option to compare with your previous range or competitor’s products? Get them interested in what you offer, so they can serve your customers.
Clearly Communicated Processes
Clear processes will help your team to deliver consistent customer service. They will know what to do, say and how to record interactions with customers. Processes will give them the confidence to respond to all enquiries in a professional manner.
If you ask your team to record information and customer feedback, explain why. How will this information be used? Will improvements be made, based on customer information and the employee’s suggestions? Everyone likes to feel that their efforts are serving a purpose, rather than wasting their time.
A Degree of Flexibility
Now, I’m an advocate for having effective policies and processes in place, but they can’t be overly rigid. Each and every customer is different and one size does not fit all. At times, a slightly different approach is needed in order to meet the customer’s requirements. By providing your team with a little flexibility, you empower them to deliver what’s appropriate to the situation.
Confidence in the Support of Managers
There are times when your customer-facing staff will face a challenging customer. It may not be easy to follow the usual protocol. We say that the customer is always right; however, your team also have rights. If someone is being rude, abusive or your employee feels threatened in any way, they might refuse to serve the customer, put down the phone or respond in a way that isn’t standard policy.
Handling Upset Customer training can help your team to address such challenges in a professional manner. In addition, they need to be confident that, should such an incident arise, they will receive support from team leaders and managers, rather than a rap on the knuckles for not following procedures.
Pride in the Company
If your team take pride in the company, good customer service will come naturally. We know that if we believe in what we are doing, get recognised for our achievements and are actively encouraged to be involved in decision making, it creates a positive work environment. If we are well trained, with opportunities to develop our skills we are motivated to do a good job.
When motivated to do a good job we smile, listen to the customer and provide advice. We keep our uniform, van and desk clean, our posture improves and we look the part.
Customer Service Training
If your team aren’t quite up to scratch, it’s worth considering whether you have provided them with everything they need to deliver customer service excellence. Are they empowered to do a great job? If there are gaps in the provision, my customer service training will help to move things in the right direction. Give me a call on 07704 221241 to discuss training options.